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  • Writer's pictureMold Remediation Lee County

Should you keep your AC on when you're away?

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

As summer's scorching heat reaches its peak, homeowners face a common dilemma: Should you turn off the air conditioning when you leave the house to save on energy costs? While it's tempting to cut back on electricity usage, doing so could lead to unwanted consequences, such as mold growth. In this blog, we'll delve into the importance of keeping your AC on when you're not home to prevent mold growth and create a healthier living environment.




Understanding the Mold Menace




Mold is a pervasive and potentially harmful intruder that thrives in damp, humid environments. It reproduces through tiny spores that float in the air, seeking a suitable surface to settle and grow. Unfortunately, the warm and moist conditions that arise when you turn off your AC can create an ideal breeding ground for mold spores, particularly in dark and less-ventilated areas of your home.




1. Temperature and Humidity Control




One of the primary functions of air conditioning is to regulate indoor temperature and humidity levels. When you leave the AC off, especially during hot summer days, the indoor temperature can rise drastically, and humidity can increase significantly. This excessive moisture can lead to condensation on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces, creating the perfect environment for mold to take hold.




By leaving your AC running at a moderate temperature, you effectively control the humidity levels, preventing them from reaching the critical point that encourages mold growth. It's recommended to set your thermostat to around 78°F (25.5°C) while you're away, striking a balance between comfort and energy efficiency.




2. Consistent Air Circulation




Air conditioning systems not only cool the air but also circulate it throughout your home. This constant airflow helps prevent moisture from settling on surfaces and discourages mold growth. When you turn off the AC, the lack of air movement can create stagnant pockets of moisture, which, in turn, provide a perfect habitat for mold spores to settle and multiply.




By keeping your AC on, you maintain consistent air circulation, reducing the chances of moisture buildup and the subsequent development of mold colonies.




3. Protecting Your Health




Mold growth is not just unsightly; it can also pose health risks. Mold spores can trigger allergies, respiratory issues, and other health problems, especially for individuals with asthma or other respiratory conditions. By preventing mold growth through proper AC usage, you safeguard your family's well-being and ensure a healthier indoor environment.




4. Preventing Costly Remediation




Dealing with a full-blown mold infestation can be a costly and time-consuming affair. Professional mold remediation can set you back thousands of dollars, not to mention the hassle of having to temporarily evacuate your home during the process.




By simply keeping your AC running while you're away, you take a proactive step in preventing mold growth and the need for extensive remediation down the line.




Conclusion




While it's tempting to turn off the air conditioning to save on energy costs, doing so can create an inviting environment for mold growth, posing risks to both your home and your health. By leaving your AC on at a moderate setting while you're away, you maintain proper temperature and humidity levels, discourage mold growth, and ensure consistent air circulation throughout your living space.




Investing in a programmable thermostat can also give you greater control over your AC's settings, allowing you to adjust the temperature based on your schedule. Ultimately, keeping your AC on when you're not home is a small step that can make a significant difference in creating a mold-free and healthier living environment. So, stay cool, beat the heat, and keep mold at bay with your trusty air conditioning system!



AC Duct full of mold in Naples FL
AC Duct full of mold

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